Keel laid for first Joint Support Ship

The keel for the first Joint Support Ship was laid on Thursday at Seaspan’s North Vancouver shipyard.

The ship, the future HMCS Protecteur, is scheduled for delivery in 2023.

Seaspan says it will be the largest naval ship ever built in Canada.

The keel laying is seen as an important milestone in the construction of a ship. A newly minted coin is placed near the keel, where it remains for the entire life of the ship. The coin would bring good luck to the builders and all those who sail in the ship.

Construction of the ship’s early blocks began in June 2018. Currently, 16 blocks have been completed and 37 blocks are under construction, according to Seaspan. The first “big block” was assembled in November 2019. A “large block” is formed when four large ship blocks of more than 160 tonnes of steel are combined. Three “large blocks” are currently being assembled.

The future HMCS Protecteur will be the first of two joint support vessels built by Seaspan as part of the national shipbuilding strategy. The ships have a length of 173.7 meters and a breath of 24 meters, according to the company.